World Superbike: Chaz Davies Takes Charge During FP2 In Qatar (Updated)

World Superbike: Chaz Davies Takes Charge During FP2 In Qatar (Updated)

© 2019, Roadracing World Publishing, Inc. by David Swarts

Editorial Note: American Dallas Daniels was 28th out of 29 riders in Supersport 300 Free Practice Two with a time of 2:23.424 on his Yamaha YZF-R3. Manuel Gonzalez was the fastest rider during the session with a lap of 2:15.438 on his Kawasaki Ninja 400.

 

Race Lap Record: 1:56.974, Jonathan Rea, 2016

All-Time Lap Record: 1:56.124, Tom Sykes, 2018

 

FIM Superbike World Championship

Losail International Circuit

Doha, Qatar

October 24, 2019

Free Practice Two Results (all on Pirelli tires):

  1. Chaz Davies, UK (Duc Panigale V4 R), 1:57.449
  2. Jonathan Rea, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:57.722
  3. Alvaro Bautista, Spain (Duc Panigale V4 R), 1:57.767
  4. Toprak Razgatlioglu, Turkey (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:58.028
  5. Michael Van Der Mark, Netherlands (Yam YZF-R1), 1:58.157
  6. Tom Sykes, UK (BMW S1000RR), 1:58.255
  7. Alex Lowes, UK (Yam YZF-R1), 1:58.303
  8. Markus Reiterberger, Germany (BMW S1000RR), 1:58.459
  9. Sandro Cortese, Germany (Yam YZF-R1), 1:58.503
  10. Eugene Laverty, Ireland (Duc Panigale V4 R), 1:58.692
  11. Leon Haslam, UK (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:58.769
  12. Loris Baz, France (Yam YZF-R1), 1:58.823
  13. Michael Rinaldi, Italy (Duc Panigale V4 R), 1:58.925
  14. Marco Melandri, Italy (Yam YZF-R1), 1:58.982
  15. Leandro Mercado, Argentina (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:59.032
  16. Jordi Torres, Spain (Kaw ZX-10RR), 1:59.087
  17. Leon Camier, UK (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 1:59.119
  18. Alessandro Delbianco, Italy (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 2:00.165, crash
  19. Ryuichi Kiyonari, Japan (Hon CBR1000RR SP2), 2:00.459
  20. Dominic Schmitter, Switzerland (Yam YZF-R1), 2:02.075

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Dorna WorldSBK Press Office:

#QATWorldSBK– Day 1 

Davies shines under the floodlights to end Day 1 on top in Qatar 

The Ducati rider led the way, while the chasing pack have work to do for Friday.

The first day of action at the Losail International Circuit came to a close with the 2019 MOTUL FIM Superbike World Championship class taking to the circuit. The final session of the day for the WorldSBK class was one of the most important yet, with the first look of realistic race pace coming in the night time. Rocketing up the order, Chaz Davies (ARUBA.IT Racing – Ducati) hit top spot, ahead of Jonathan Rea (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK).

Chaz Davies has been twice a winner at Losail and looks like he could be on course to repeat that this weekend, topping the final session of Friday. Davies, who was in the top six for the entirety of the session, hit first with five minutes to go and headed his teammate. It was a strong session for Alvaro Bautista, as the Spaniard looks to finish his rookie season in World Superbike on a high. The 34-year-old was down in seventh after the first session but come the end of FP2, he was up in third.

Having led to the opening session of the weekend, Jonathan Rea was right back in the mix of things and ready for battle in FP2. The Northern Irishman was in second for the majority of the session and that is where he would finish come the end of proceedings, with the five-time World Superbike Champion working solidly on his race pace. After a difficult opening session, Leon Haslam (Kawasaki Racing Team WorldSBK) was left down in 12th.

After a top three performance in FP1, Toprak Razgatliolgu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) set his sights on third place overall in the Championship in the best way possible. The 23-year-old from Alanya is in a strong position to overhaul those ahead of him in the Championship and completed the first day of Qatar action in fourth. There were plenty of other Independent riders inside the top ten, with Sandro Cortese (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) in ninth and Loris Baz (Ten Kate Racing – Yamaha) in tenth.

Closely matched in the Championship and closely matched after Thursday action, the Pata Yamaha WorldSBK Team duo of Alex Lowes and Michael van der Mark continue to squabble on their last weekend in the same team. Van der Mark had the upper hand and was up in fifth place, whilst Lowes was seventh when the chequered flag came out. Both are in a fierce battle for third with Toprak Razgatlioglu and will thus need to work together in order to bring Yamaha the bronze medal position.

The BMW charge in Qatar was led by 2013 WorldSBK Champion Tom Sykes, who spent most of the session down in 15th place, before firing in a good lap time with less than eight minutes to go, putting him in sixth. Teammate Markus Reiterberger (BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team) came to the fore and was eighth after day one. The German rider, so far without a ride confirmed on the 2020 grid in WorldSBK, put himself in the shop window at the right time, reminding everyone what he is capable of.

Outside of the top ten on his final weekend, Marco Melandri (GRT Yamaha WorldSBK) goes into the final two days of his WorldSBK career in 14th, whilst top Honda belonged to Leon Camier (Moriwaki Althea Honda Team) in 17th, now confirmed at BARNI Ducati for 2020.

WorldSSP: Cluzel leads Caricasulo, Krummenacher crashes in WorldSSP FP2

The 2019 WorldSSP title fight is a scintillating one and things took dramatic twists and turns under the floodlights of Losail on Thursday night.

The final World Supersport session of the day in Qatar kicked off with much drama, as the Championship battle took another turn. The night sky offered no hiding place for the field as the lights shone down onto the battles on and off track. Leading the way come the conclusion of the opening day was Jules Cluzel (GMT94 YAMAHA), with a huge advantage over the rest of the field, doing what he needs to do in order to keep his title hopes alive.

There was drama from the off in the 45-minute session, as Randy Krummenacher (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) crashed at Turn 4, running fractionally wide on the exit of the corner and low-siding out. He wasn’t the only crasher in the first third of the session however, as Assen podium finisher Thomas Gradinger (Kallio Racing) tucked the front at the final corner. Moments later, Jaimie van Sikkelerus (MPM WILSport Racedays) ran on at Turn 1 but didn’t topple over – the exact same thing happened to the Dutchman in FP1.

Picking up from where he left off in FP1, Jules Cluzel was right in the mix for the leading positions again. The French rider is looking for his first back-to-back wins since Assen and Imola in 2018, in order to have a chance of claiming WorldSSP glory. With a massive 0.7s margin to his rivals, he is the man to beat after ending day one on top. In the final ten minutes, Federico Caricasulo (BARDAHL Evan Bros. WorldSSP Team) began to show his pace, finishing second. He’ll be eager to capitalise on the Swiss rider’s bad form of late and pinch the title away from the other side of the garage. Second overall, Caricasulo is in fine form. Continuing to show his promise at the pointy-end of WorldSSP was veteran, Ayrton Badovini (Team Pedercini Racing). The Italian was as high as second in FP2 and come the end of the day, was up in third.

Coming on leaps and bounds in recent rounds, Isaac Viñales (Kallio Racing) was right up the sharp end of things on Friday. The Spaniard took advantage of his track knowledge from his Moto3™ and Moto2™ career and put it to good use to finish day one in fourth. Remounting from his crash in the early stages, Randy Krummenacher was back inside the top five with less than five minutes to go in the session. The Swiss rider was the lowest place of the Championship contenders after the first day of action but that in itself will give him plenty of motivation for Friday and Saturday. Fifth in the end, he has work to do to keep his title lead. Raffaele De Rosa (MV AGUSTA Reparto Corse) was sixth overall, 0.909s off a rampant Cluzel.

Seventh at the close of business on the opening day went to Lucas Mahias (Kawasaki Puccetti Racing), as the Frenchman dropped away a little bit during the flurry of fast laps at the end of the session. Corentin Perolari was looking in good form in Qatar, as he chases down his first WorldSSP podium after achieving a first pole in Argentina. But from South America to the Middle East, Perolari looks poised for another strong weekend and finished in eighth overall. Two-time Losail winner Kyle Smith (Team Pedercini Racing) was ninth, whilst Hungary’s Peter Sebestyen (CIA Landlord Insurance Honda) completed the top ten as top Honda.

WorldSSP300: Gonzalez beats Carrasco to end day one in WorldSSP300 on top in Qatar

It was an all-Spanish battle at the head of the field in WorldSSP300’s first-ever venture outside of Europe.

The WorldSSP300 grid makes history this weekend with their first visit outside of Europe coming at the Motul Qatar Round. The feeder class is set to dazzle under the spotlights of the Losail International Circuit, with Thursday’s opening sessions offering a taste of the action to come. Making his debut at the Qatari venue, it was Manuel Gonzalez (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) who was once again on top.

The lights of Losail only mean one thing: motorcycle racing is in action! Despite the usual craziness out on circuit, what with riders looking for a slipstream and waiting on the racing line, 2019 WorldSSP300 Champion Manuel Gonzalez thread the eye of the needle to set a good lap time during the middle stages of the session. Second overall was Ana Carrasco (Kawasaki Provec WorldSSP300), who used her Moto3™ experience to propel her to the silver-medal position. The outgoing WorldSSP300 Champion was over a second clear in FP1 and will look to gain back the advantage going into the rest of the weekend. Completing the top three was Andy Verdoïa (BCD Yamaha MS Racing), who is still in the battle for second overall in the Championship.

Fourth after the opening day of action was Czech talent, Oliver König (Freudenberg KTM WorldSSP Team), lapping strongly throughout the night to confirm is solid pace at Losail. In fifth place and just fractionally behind him, Dutch rider Dion Otten (MTM Racing Team) made it four nationalities inside the top five, as he worked away on his pace. Otten is looking for a good end to the season to go into 2020 well prepared. Filippo Rovelli (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) completed the top six and was top Italian after day one, 0.712s behind Gonzalez on top.

Battling for second in the Championship, Portimao race winner Scott Deroue (Kawasaki MOTOPORT) was only seventh on his return to action under the floodlights of Losail. He was marginally ahead of fellow countryman Victor Steeman (Freudenberg KTM Junior Team), with the Dutch charge coming from the provision third row. Tom Edwards (Kawasaki ParkinGO Team) was ninth and was flew the Australian flag high, whilst just behind, Ukrainian Nick Kalinin (Nutec – RT Motorsports by SKM – Kawasaki) completed the top ten just days after announcing his 2020 plans in the WorldSSP300 class.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Moriwaki Althea Honda Team:

The final WorldSBK round gets underway in Doha for the Moriwaki Althea Honda Team.

The final round of the 2019 WorldSBK season got underway tonight in the state of Qatar, in the spectacular setting that the floodlit Losail international circuit affords.

As the riders hit the track at 5.00 pm for FP1 and then at 8.00 pm for FP2, temperatures hovered around 30 degrees Celsius with track conditions reported to be fine, despite this being only the first day of action at the desert track.

Leon Camier was the 17th fastest rider come the end of the evening and will look to make some changes to his bike set-up tomorrow, while team-mate Ryuichi Kiyonari finished in 19th place.

FP3 will commence tomorrow at 3.00 pm local time, followed by Superpole at 5.30 pm and Race1 at 8.00 pm.

Leon Camier

17TH  1’59.119

“Not the easiest of days today. We made a few changes to the set-up and found something a little bit better, but it’s not yet enough. To be honest, we are closer to the front that we sometimes have been, but we are still in 17th place which is not good. The guys immediately ahead are not so much faster than us, and if we can cut two or three tenths, we’d jump up quite a few places but we need to figure out something in terms of the setting, across all areas really, to achieve that. Track conditions were already pretty good today, and we no problems at all with the grip, so tomorrow we’ll be able to keep working and try something that helps us to take a step forward with the set-up”.
Ryuichi Kiyonari

19TH  2’00.459

“Today we worked quite a lot on our bike set-up between the two sessions and were able to improve in terms of the braking and rear grip, but at the same time we lost something in turning. So the direction is the right one, but tomorrow we must find something of a compromise as we look to improve our lap times”.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Kawasaki:

Second For Rea On First Floodlit Day

Recently crowned five-time WorldSBK champion Jonathan Rea took his KRT Ninja ZX-10RR to second place in the opening day’s free practice sessions under the floodlit conditions at Losail in Qatar. Leon Haslam (KRT) was 12th fastest as he re-learns the circuit layout.

The 5.380km long Losail International Circuit provides a unique end to the WorldSBK season and on the first night of action Jonathan Rea scored second best time, as he works towards a final race set-up for tomorrow’s Tissot-Superpole qualifying session and Race One.

Rea enters the second day in Losail looking for a small improvement in his overall handling package, at what he rates as one of his favourite circuits of the year.

Haslam, who has not ridden the Losail circuit layout for some time, is still working on the finer parts of track knowledge. He was still only 1.3 seconds down on the fastest rider at this long and technical circuit, but expects to make up more ground on the second day of action to prepare himself fully for the opening race of the meeting.

Although the practice sessions are held at night time in Qatar the high humidity and air temperatures still presented a degree of challenge for riders and teams to overcome. At 20.00 in the air temperature was recorded at 30°C, although the best lap times were still more than respectable for the opening day.

FP3 on Friday will be followed by Tissot-Superpole qualifying and then a full distance 17-lap Race One.

Jonathan Rea, stated: “I had a good day and we understood the tyre options for the weekend a little bit. The track rubbered-in really quickly and FP1 was fast already. In the second session we worked on our consistency and pace. I feel quite good. The bike is working really well where I need it work. In some areas I need a little bit more turning, especially in the fast areas. I am putting too much stress on the tyre, using too much angle to get the bike to turn. But for a first day, I feel quite good. You always want to finish the season with a good feeling and that is important. Of course we have a big target to try and win the Manufacturers’ Award for Kawasaki; that is very important.”

Leon Haslam, stated: “It has not been coming that easy. The last time I was here was as a wild card and we missed most of the practices then, so we are still did consistent low 1’58s, so we are still playing a little bit of catch-up getting up to speed with the track. I feel we have a good direction but the short FP3 sessions are hard work. Step-by-step and we will make a few more steps for tomorrow. Hopefully we can figure out a few of our problems overnight and get a little bit closer to that fight for the top five.”

Toprak Razgatlioglu (Turkish Puccetti Racing) finished his first day at Losail in fourth place, finding some front tyre push on the right hand corners but still ranked the top independent rider of the day. He is in the thick of the fight for overall third place with three points scoring races to go, starting with Race One on Friday evening at 20.00 hrs, local time.

Leandro Mercado (Orelac Racing VerdNatura Kawasaki) began the final round of the year in 15th place overall after FP1 and FP2. Jordi Torres (Team Pedercini Racing Kawasaki) worked his way to 16th place at Losail on day one.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Team Go Eleven:

WORLDSBK QATAR ROUND-THURSDAY FREE PRACTICES

The lights on the Losail circuit are turned on, the bikes shudder waiting for the first green light of Round 13!

The Free Practices 1 start with an asphalt in excellent condition compared to the previous years: the sand, brought to the track by the surrounding arid desert, does not seem to give problems to the riders, who immediately feel a good grip.
Eugene get on track with the same set-up as Argentina, but on the second lap the rear tyre gets punctured due to debris collected on the track; fortunately the tyre loses little by little and the Irish rider manages to return to the pits.

New tyre, re-enters the track and shows a steady rhythm.

Laverty complains of a light rear, with little contact on the ground. The latter will be the main improvement objective for the second round.

Free Practices 1: P 14   1’59.826   + 1.816

At 20.00 the riders are back on track for Free Practices 2!

The Ducati V4-R by Go Eleven comes with a new pivot adjustment, which should help Eugene in the load transfer.

Since the first exit the improvement is clear, a second better than the FP 1. With the time of 1’58.692 Laverty concludes Friday in tenth position, with a step constantly under the ’59 that promises well for the race.

Free Practices 2: P 10   1’58.692   + 1.243

Now the technicians will be able to carry out the latest changes, sew the Red of Borgo Panigale on the Irish of Go Eleven and face Superpole and Race 1.

Remember that in Qatar the races take place on Friday and Saturday at 20.00 local time!

Eugene Laverty:

“Today we worked well, we finished eleventh position in combined results.
The step we made on Sunday in Argentina was a benefit and the bike is working well. We will try to make another step in this way tonight to help the bike stop better on final braking.

“Already the rhythm is really good: while we can’t do one or two fast lap for Qualifying , we can do many laps constant. This is really important for the races!”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Barni Racing:

The last WorldSBK weekend started in Qatar

Losail, 24th October 2019. When the sun set action begin at Losail International Circuit, in Qatar, where the 2019 WorldSBK season is about to came to the end. Before that, three races more awaits the Barni Racing Team and his rider that hit the track for the first time today.

Michael Rinaldi was thirteen at the end of the two free practice sessions completing 32 laps in all.

First session toke place in the afternoon with 31 °C in the air and almost 40 °C on tarmac and Rinaldi’s first goal was to learn trajectories and to ride comfortably his Ducati Panigale V4 R on a very long and complicated track. In the last few minutes of FP1 the
the Italian broke the wall of 2 min lapping in 1’59.936 and placing him fifteenth.
During the FP2, with almost the same temperatures despite the evening occurred, Rinaldi improved constantly his lap time until the 1’58.925 putting himself in thirteen position in the standing.

Marco Barnabo, Team Principal:

Every time we went on track we took a step forward. It means that the team and the rider are working well. For this reason I’m confident that tomorrow we can improve again trying to be a little more ahead.

Michael Rinaldi

P13 (1’58.925)

The track is very long and being able to grasp all the secrets in just two sessions was not easy at all, but with the crew we managed to do a good job improving a lot the lap time between FP1 and FP2. Realistically speaking my goal for tomorrow is to be able to get the Top 10 both in qualifying and in Race 1. If everything runs smoothly on Sunday we could go hunting for something more.

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by Aruba.it Racing Ducati:

World Superbike in Qatar: a good start to the Losail weekend for the Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team with Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista first and third respectively

At the end of Day 1 of free practice for the Qatar WSBK Round at the Losail International Circuit, both Aruba.it Racing – Ducati team riders, Chaz Davies and Álvaro Bautista, made a good start to the weekend by setting first and third place respectively in the provisional standings.

On a hot and humid evening, during the FP2 session all the SBK riders improved on their times they had set in the first session. In particular, Chaz Davis showed that he had a good feeling with the Qatari track as he dropped his FP1 time by well over one second, after starting off the day with a harmless slide on his second lap. Not far behind, three-tenths of a second, can be found his team-mate Álvaro Bautista, who is racing for the first time on this track with a Superbike.

Tomorrow, Friday 25th October at 15:00 local time (14:00 CET) the third and final free practice session will be held, followed at 17:30 by Superpole, valid for the starting-grid of Race 1, which gets underway at 20:00 (19:00 CET).

Chaz Davies (Aruba.it Racing – Ducati #7) – 1’57.449 (1st)

“It was a bit of a surprise to find myself at the top of the timesheets to be honest but today my Panigale V4 R felt really good. I didn’t really start the day well when I came off the bike at Turn 4 on the second lap of the first session, but once I got back out on the track I soon got my confidence back. We worked on the bike between the two sessions, picked a direction and it worked, and the guys did a really good job to give me a good bike for FP2. I’m pleased because it seems like our best set-up isn’t too far away at all. We’ve just got to work on our race pace tomorrow and I’m confident we can find a little bit more.”

Álvaro Bautista (Aruba.it Racing Ducati #19) – 1’57.767 (3rd)

“It’s always a nice experience to ride again at night at Losail with the artificial lights, even though you need a couple of laps to understand the track conditions. In FP1 the track wasn’t in the best state, but we managed to do a good number of laps and get references with the Panigale V4 R. In the second session we worked on the bike set-up to improve the rear grip and I made a good step forward. The problem is after a few laps with used tyres, I feel a lot of movement on the bike, but in any case I’m happy because the feeling was good and I have a good race pace.”

 

 

 

More, from a press release issued by BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team:

BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team firmly into the top 10 on the opening day of Round 13 in Qatar.

Losail International Circuit

The BMW Motorrad WorldSBK Team made a very positive start to the final round of the 2019 WorldSBK season by securing both riders into the top 8 at the end of day 1. Tom Sykes kicked off FP1 by putting himself into P10 after posting a (1’59.448) lap, despite struggling throughout both free practices Sykes made good progress in the final session after finding a more comfortable setting with his BMW S 1000 RR lapping a (1’58.255) in the final moment to go P6.

Markus Reiterberger looking to improve on the previous round in Argentina arrived for FP1 ready for action. For FP1 Markus worked on getting the stability of his S 1000 RR which ultimately saw him climb up the times to P11 (1’59.556). The team made some electronic changes to Reiterberger’s bike for FP2 and instantly the times began to drop, Markus finished FP2 in P8 after consistently setting (1’58.459) laps.

Shaun Muir, Team Principal:

“First day on track at the Losail International Circuit was positive for both Tom and Markus. Tom struggled to get up to speed this morning and had issues with grip during FP1. We tried two different rear tyres compounds during the session which looked to make a difference. We then made some minor pre-load adjustments in FP2 which evidently showed in Toms time at the end of FP2.

“Markus equally had a really good Free Practice. FP1 we tried a few different fork settings to help stabilise the steering mid corner and also some different electronic settings in FP2 which saw climb up the timings to P8, hopefully he can continue his performance into tomorrow.”

Marc Bongers, BMW Motorrad Motorsports Director:

“We are relatively happy with the day. It took a long time for Tom to get to sixth position and fair enough it was only one lap so we have to analyse how we can be more consistent with him. A change of tyre type seemed to have made the biggest difference. On the other hand I’m pleased to see that Markus is feeling confident. That’s nice to see and it’s a plus and a positive for that side of the garage. I hope we can continue his performance throughout the weekend.”

Tom Sykes:

“We really worked hard today, we are struggling in some areas but made a few changes in the final moments of FP2 and found a setting which I was much more comfortable with. Obviously we are still not where we need to be but we will continue the progress made today into tomorrow and hopefully put together some good results for the races.”

Markus Reiterberger:

“I am really happy, finally back in the top ten. I noticed straight away when I went out for the first outing that I am feeling much more comfortable on the bike than at the previous couple of rounds. We’ve made some smaller amendments that suited me very well and made good use of the two practice sessions to evaluate the tyres and some changes. In FP1, I only rode with one set of tyres and I did my best lap time on the last lap. That’s not the case too often and made me pretty optimistic.

“In the second practice, we tested different tyres and in the end I did constant times in the middle to higher 1:58s. Overall, we gathered positive information. P8 in the top ten is good, I am relatively close to my team-mate, so I think we can call that a successful day. We also found some things regarding the electronics that we could improve for the second practice which lead to that big progress. I’m grateful to the team for their hard work. Now we still have some things to adapt and we have to take a tyre decision as it seems that all tyres work very well. But overall all works pretty well so far.”

 

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